There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. Whether you’re growing fruit and veggies, flowers or succulents, getting your green thumb on can have a surprising number of health benefits for you and your family.

Gardening Q&A

To help you get started on your new garden, some gardening experts in our community have answered questions submitted by staff and students.

Q: How do you start a garden?

A: The best way to start the garden is to see what you want to achieve. If it is for fruit and vegetables you need full sun. For a courtyard, you need shade or would have to look at some kind of method of shelter i.e. tree or shade sail. You have to make sure your soil is compatible to what it needs regarding what you grow. There are numerous websites like Garden Australia to look regarding Organic vegetable growing.

Q: How much sunlight does a succulent need?

A: A succulent needs full sun and very little water with free draining soil.

Q: Why has my lemon tree not grown for the past three years?

A: A lemon tree may not fruit due to several factors. Too much shade, too much nitrogen fertiliser and not enough potassium supplement. Below the graft of the lemon tree a sucker may appear and takes over.

Q: What do I need to start composting at home?

A: A few square metres of full sun part shade. 2 to 3 compost bins which should roughly cost $30-$40. Dry grass, leaves , weeds, vegetable scraps and a shovel. And, most importantly a routine to keep things turned over regularly.

Q: What can / can’t you compost?

A: Most things you can compost. Except for meat scraps, onions, citrus, garlic etc.

Q: What’s the best way to introduce plants into small spaces/households?

A: The best way to introduce small plants into a household is to make sure they have enough natural sunlight, don’t get overwatered or planted too deep in pots. Give them a slow releasing, half strength liquid fertiliser regularly during the months with a R in it. Look for easy maintenance plants that will fit your lifestyle and needs.

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